A very timely book-project-performance because such a project is so rare.  

Sven Ouzman, Archaeologist at the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management, University of Western Australia. sven.ouzman@uwa.edu.au

Engraved Landscape Biesje Poort: Many Voices tells two stories. It provides a valuable record of important pre-historic and historic artefacts that would ordinarily be inaccessible to many South Africans. But more significantly it showcases new ways of doing research in a contested and fractured environment.

Dr Melinda Silverman, Department of Architecture, FADA, University of Johannesburg

Originality immediately arises because the archeological site chosen is one of those ‘obscure’ sites which have not received much critical or popular journalistic coverage. Like most brilliant and eye-catching coffee table books, this compilation straddles the tantalisingly academic and pop(ular) anthropology.

Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri, Department of Media & Society Studies, Midlands State University


Mary Elizabeth Lange

Author & Editor

Mary Lange chairs ARROWSA: Art, Culture & Heritage for Peace and is an affiliate of the Centre for Communication, Media & Society, UKZN. She facilitates cultural educational and community development programmes. Her research, including that of Biesje Poort, often takes its influence from her ties to Kalahari family and friends.

Liana Müller Jansen

Author & Editor

Liana Müller Jansen is a lecturer in the Master of Landscape Architecture programme at the University of Cape Town. Her research focus is the concept of landscape, the meeting point of people and the environment. Projects include work on cultural landscapes and historic sites.

Roger C Fisher

Author & Editor

Roger Fisher is emeritus professor at the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria. His researches and expertise are directed at the shared heritage and living legacy of the South African built environment and cultural landscapes. Roger is the recipient of the Heritage SA Gold Medal 2013.

David Morris

Author & Editor

David Morris, archaeologist at Kimberley’s McGregor Museum, is a graduate of the Universities of Cape Town and of the Western Cape. He combines his research interests, particularly in rock art, with developing public archaeology, and channels effort into conserving the traces of the past.

Keyan G Tomaselli

Author & Editor

Keyan G Tomaselli is Director of The Centre for Communication, Media & Society, University of Kwazulu-Natal. He has been studying how the indigenous are represented, and how they represent themselves, in relation to media depictions and methodologies of the researcher-researched encounter.

Dr Lauren Dyll-Myklebust


Dr Lauren Dyll-Myklebust is a lecturer in the Centre for Communication, Media and Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, teaching social change communication from a participatory and culture-centred perspective. Her research interests include: cultural tourism-as-development and stakeholder partnerships, issues of identity and representation, critical indigenous qualitative research and memory studies.

Tessa Toerien


Tessa Toerien has a Masters in Landscape Architecture and an undergraduate degree in Architecture, from the University of Cape Town. Her research interests are varied, but can be distilled as a desire to understand the significance within the relationships that form between people and the land, between cultures and landscapes.

Lizet Verwoerd


Lizet Verwoerd graduated from the Masters program in Landscape Architecture from the University of Cape Town in 2013. Her interest lies in the formation of rural and urban settlements and how groups, individuals and designers negotiate the creation of a responsive and adaptable community. Her future endeavors aim to incorporate the process oriented principles of landscape architecture with small scale urban community interventions.

Belinda Org


Belinda Org (née Matthee) was born in District six, Cape Town. She grew up in the Carnarvon District of the Karoo. She is now a full-blooded Kalahari dweller and has committed her life to the conservation of the desert and its people. She is an on-the-ground researcher and networker and has always believed that the people of the area should participate in their own research as equals. For this reason she was attracted to the Biesje Poort Project since she saw it as an opportunity to be involved in, what she considers, a first of this type of research endeavours.

Shanade Barnabas


Shanade Barnabas is a doctoral candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Communication, Media and Society. She has worked closely with the !Xun, Khwe and ≠Khomani San communities of the Northern Cape since 2008. Her current research focuses on the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Tourism Centre, a rock engraving site situated outside the Northern Cape City of Kimberley.

Miliswa Magongo


Miliswa Magongo is a Monitoring and Evaluation officer for the Community Engagement Unit at Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies. She holds a Master of Social Science degree majoring in Development and Health Communication from the Centre for Communication, Media and Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her interest lies in participatory methodologies in projects, communication strategy design, monitoring and evaluation.

Pedro Dâusab


Pedro Dâusab is an acclaimed language activist. He was born and completed his schooling in Namibia but now resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He started teaching in Namibia at both elementary and high schools and then enrolled at the University of the Western Cape for a BA and B Ed degrees and studied part time while he was working at motor corporations. He then did his H.E.D. through the University of South Africa and subsequently also completed his Executive Education Diploma in Business Management. As a teacher he has gone full circle as he taught at both primary and high schools in the Cape until his retirement in 2009.

Alexa Anthonie

Indexing, Copy-editing & Proofreading

Alexa Anthonie considers herself a word nerd with a love for people. She has been fortunate to engage both these passions throughout her career: as Linguistics Researcher in her hometown of Beaufort West, as International Exchange Coordinator at her alma mater, as Lexicographer for renowned dictionary publisher, Pharos, and now as Freelance Editor where she lives vicariously through the words of others. Alexa holds BA and MA degrees from Stellenbosch University.

Carinè Müller

Design and Production

With an Information Science degree in Publishing and a BA Honours degree in Visual Studies, Carinè is uniquely suited to work with both language and design. Currently working as a translator, typesetter and production assistant in the magazine industry, she has over 9 years experience working with books and enjoys her free time painting and illustrating.

Petrus Jansen


Petrus is a passionate multidisciplinary entrepreneur, natural farmer, poet & art-photographer. He is passionate about a holistic approach to all spheres of life. Photography is about sharing the beauty of life for him. He also has a BBA degree in Business Management & Psychology. Petrus resides on his guest farm in Montagu and enjoys the quality of life in this picturesque village.

Dawid Kruiper


Klein Dawid //ankie Kruiper lives on the farm Witdraai in the Kalahari. He is a junior field ranger at the Kalahari game farm Erin. Klein Dawid became involved in the Biesje Poort project because it is about history and he believes that history much not die out: uitsterf. The project also gave him the opportunity to gain new skills and experience. The GPS used in the project was a new model that he had not used before and the project was specifically significant to him because he gained first-hand experience in rock art which he previously had read about but had not seen. He was particularly interested in the rock engraving animal depictions.

Lydia Lys Kruiper


Lydia Lys Kruiper is the daughter of Izak and Lappies (Maria). She is very proud of her traditions e.g. the traditional dance she considers more than a performance. Lydia is an expert traditional crafter specifically in the creation of ostrich eggshell jewellery. She became involved in the Biesje Poort project to be able to contribute something to her children: Om vir my kinders iets terug te bring. The Biesje Poort engravings also touched her heart: Het my hart geraak.

Izak Kruiper


Izak Kruiper is a traditional medicine doctor who was born in the area now known as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. He is married to Lydia Lys Kruiper and has two sons. He has previously worked as: a sheep herder, a crafter and artist and a guide and tracker. Izak feels a responsibility to the ‘spirit’ of his ancestors and felt that the ancestors were ‘strong’ in the Biesje Poort project and in the rock art itself where a sense of peace emanated. The message of the ancestors was two-fold: mutual understanding and forgiveness – om “een pad saam te loop.

Jan Oeliset Org


Jan Oeliset Org was born in the Kgalagadi in the Twee Rivieren area, and after living there for twenty-five years was relocated with the setting of the borders. He moved to where his parents lived in Struizendam on the Botswana side of the border. He misses being friends with a variety of cultures. His intrigue in the Biesje Poort Project is its focus on the heritage of the area, one of his particular areas of expertise and passions.

Koot Msawula


Koot Msawula was born in Jakobsdal in the western Free State but moved to Kimberley in 1980.  He has worked for a number of years in a part time capacity for the McGregor
Museum archaeological department on salvage projects.  His archaeolgical field work includes Biesje Poort in 2011 and major sites such as Wonderwerk, Driekopseiland and Kathu where he has worked alongside international researchers.

Euodia (Engels) Badenhorst


Euodia Beukes is op 19 maart 1936 as jongste kind van Lukas en Johanna Beukes op die plaas Biesje Poort in die Gordonia Distrik gebore. Sy begin as vierjarige by die plaasskool skoolgaan na haar moeder se dood, matrikuleer aan die Hoërskool Upington, verwerf haar onderwyssertifikaat aan die Vrystaatse Universiteit en begin haar onderwysloopbaan as 18 jarige in die destydse Suidwes-Afrika. Sy tree uit die onderwys as Dosent aan die Wellingtonse Onderwyserskollege. Haar oneindige liefde vir BIESJE POORT, word gemeet aan haar skryfwerk oor die plaas en die feit dat sy daar begrawe wil word.


The National Heritage Council provided the bulk of funding for the recording of the rock engravings at Biesje Poort farm, north of the Orange River, in 2010-2011 and also for the 2012-2013 project that resulted in this publication. Due to a lack of accessibility to the Biesje Poort rock engraving site, and the extreme nature of the terrain and climate, a book of this nature is important for public communication and education on these examples of our rock art national heritage. Rock engravings form part of South Africa’s national treasured heritage. This project builds on new approaches to the recording of rock engraving sites such as that found at WildeBeest Kuil and Driekopseiland whereby a ‘palimpsest’ or ‘multi-vocality’ approach is used which not only incorporates a multi-disciplinary team but also includes both past and present heritage layers in the record of the site (Morris: 2008). The approach used extends to the reception of rock art beyond the text. This approach has not been applied to a rock engraving heritage site before in the region of this project. The project is innovative in that, in line with a participatory communication approach, there was a concerted involvement by local Kalahari people than has occurred in other rock art site developments. Kalahari descendants were included throughout the process of recording the rock engravings and the writing up of the experience as reflected in this book.

The following individuals, institutions and organisations collaborated: Indigenous Kalahari participants led by the Kruiper and Org family members namely Izak, Lydia, Klein Dawid, Belinda and Jan Oeliset; The Archaeology Department, Mc Gregor Museum, Kimberley, led by Dr David Morris and archaeological assistant Koot Msawula; The Centre for Communication, Media & Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal led by Prof Keyan Tomaselli and including Communication for Participatory Development lecturer, Dr Lauren Dyll-Myklebust, PhD student Shanade Barnabas and Masters student Miliswa Magongo; The Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria led by Prof Roger Fisher who invited The School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics: Master in Landscape Architecture Programme, University of Cape Town led by Liana Muller and students Tessa Toerien and Lizet van der Merwe; Past resident of Biesje Poort farm, Euodia Engels; ARROWSA (Art a Resource For Reconciliation Over the World): Art, Culture & Heritage for Peace, non-profit organisation led by Mary Lange who coordinated the projects and devised the concept of the original Biesje Poort rock engraving recording project due to researching the site as part of her Master’s degree. The team has a very strong record of writing, editing and publication specifically regarding culture and heritage.

This book and the research on which it reports was largely funded by the South African National Heritage Council.

The authors acknowledge the following people for their contribution:
• Koos Meyer, present owner of the farm Biesje Poort, and previous owner A.K. Engelbrecht for allowing access to his farm.
• Colin Fortune (Director), and staff of the McGregor Museum Kimberley, for institutional support and archiving facilities.
• Upington and McGregor Museum staff, particularly Pieter Goussard and Peter Beaumont for their advice and support during initial Biesje Poort research.
• Michael and Roger Fisher and David Morris (Dr), McGregor Museum, for providing transport to, and additional insight at extra fieldtrips.
• Koot Msawula, Izak Kruiper, Lydia Kruiper, Klein Dawid Kruiper, Belinda Org and Jan Oeliset Org who took part in fieldwork at Biesjie Poort.
• Kathy Burger and Willie Burger of River City Inn, Upington, and the late Bill and Kathy Fisher for their sponsorship of accommodation, food and conference facilities en route to and from Biesje Poort.
• Keyan Tomasell (Professor and Director of), Varona Sathiyah and Zuleika Sheik (Research assistants), Santie Strong (guidance and assistance), Lauren Dyll-Myklebust (Dr) at The Centre for Communication, Media & Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal).
• Frik Lange, Osmond Lange Architects & Planners, for the sponsorship of many photostats and prints.
• The University of Cape Town, in particular Alta Steenkamp (Professor & Head of the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics) for academic support and granting the research team leave for the duration of the fieldwork.
• Petrus Jansen, for support and the time spent capturing editing the photographs of this book.

Additional funding was provided by:
The McGregor Museum Rock Art Fund supported aspects of the fieldwork.
ARROWSA: Art, Culture & Heritage for Peace (Reg 088-058 NPO) supported aspects of the administration.
The following persons acknowledge the on-going financial support of the National Research Foundation (NRF) for Biesje Poort researchers as well as their research assistants and post-graduate students:
Professor Keyan Tomaselli (Centre for Communication, Media & Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal);
Professor Emeritus Roger C Fisher (School of Architecture, University of Pretoria).

However, any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the author for which the National Research Foundation does not accept any liability

National Heritage Council of South Africa nhc.org.za
Centre for Communication, Media & Society ccms.ukzn.ac.za
ARROWSA Blog arrowsa.blogspot.com


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